New variant of Android ransomware "Fake Defender" surfaces

Share this article:

Researchers believe a spam campaign is spreading a new variant of mobile ransomware.

Malware called “Fake Defender,” was first discovered in June, but security firm Symantec has now detected that the malware's authors are using a different ruse to target Android users, primarily in Russia.

The malicious application, detected as fakedefender.B., is designed to look like the official application for an adult video website, a Wednesday blog post by Symantec researcher Roberto Sponchioni said. But once users install the app, messages warn them to run an antivirus scan that is supposedly Avast AV.  

Once the spurious AV scan is finished, the user's phone is locked for their “protection,” and the app asks for a ransom payment of $100 via a prepaid MoneyPak card.

Share this article:

Sign up to our newsletters

More in News

Health care breaches continue to rise, over 30M affected

As breaches hitting the health care industry continue to ramp up, more than 30 million individuals have been affected by these incidents thus far.

'Backoff' malware compromises POS devices in New Orleans restaurant

Anyone that used a credit or debit card at Mizado Cocina between May 9 and July 18 may have had their data compromised.

FBI begins investigation into 1.2 billion stolen credentials

A couple weeks after Hold Security's initial discovery of the stolen logins, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is conducting its own review.